When my eyes saw those two pink lines for the first time, everything changed. It’s almost as if my brain switched to autopilot and turned off all “unnecessary” brain cells–you know, the ones that tell me where I left my keys and help me remember what I’m talking about mid-sentence and. . . Now, where was I. . .
I suppose these lovely changes took place in order to make room for my brand new “mom brain.” Lucky me. During the nine months I carried my first sweet child in my belly, I filled my new mom brain with information that I found in books, telling me what to expect during pregnancy and breastfeeding and how to keep babies and toddlers alive and such. But in all my research, there was something crucial missing. Sure, I learned what colors my child’s poop should or shouldn’t be and how to keep my milk supply up, but what confused me and stressed me out the most was all the conflicting advice on how to be a “good” mom.
Some say to just go with the flow and give lots of hugs while others insist you keep a strict schedule so that your baby has structure. More cuddles, less getting on to your child. More discipline, less coddling. And the list goes on.
I had to learn quickly how to weed through all of the advice given to me. Some were put in to practice. Others were set aside. As I ponder over how much I’ve learned as a mom over the past five and a half years, something has become very apparent to me. Being a good mom is not good enough. I can follow a set of mommy dos and don’ts, adhere to a strict bedtime and diet for my littles, and never lose my patience, but something will still be missing. Motherhood is not about always getting it right. Sometimes our kids need to see our humanity. It’s through those humbling moments when we lower ourselves to our knees, hold those soft, squishy cheeks in our hands, and say, “I’m sorry,” that everything changes. Let’s be honest with ourselves and each other. We’ve all royally messed up in parenting. We might have yelled because we lost our cool or accused our child of disobeying when he really did nothing wrong at all. But in these moments of admitting to not always getting it right, we teach our children something far more valuable than being polite or the importance of eating their fruits and vegetables. We teach them about grace. We teach them how to love. We teach them to forgive. And ultimately, we point them to Christ. Next time you make a mistake in parenting, don’t try to cover it up or pretend like you have it all together. Because truthfully, our children need more than a “good” mom. They need an imperfect, honest, grace-filled, Jesus uplifting role model. So, Momma, what will you choose? Good or grace?